The causes of burst pipes come in all shapes and sizes, but that doesn’t mean they have to ruin your summer fun. This blog post discusses seven reasons why pipes burst during summer months and solutions to prevent excessive damage.
1. Rust in Metal Pipes
Although metal plumbing can rust over time from exposure to the elements and develop leaks, proper maintenance, and meticulous observation can detect and quickly resolve potential plumbing issues. Pay careful attention to the color of your water. If you notice yellow or brown discoloration, it’s often a signal of rusted plumbing.
If you notice water discoloration, you can flush your water heater with water and vinegar. However, this is also a good indication that it’s nearing time for a maintenance visit. Oklahoma City is subject to hard water and mineral buildup, so if you are not having your water heater and plumbing serviced at least once a year by a professional, corrosion and rust will accumulate and cause problems.
2. Year-Round Hard Water
Groundwater sediment accumulates in your pipes to increase corrosion and rust while encouraging wear and tear. Installing a whole-home water filtration system removes these sediments from the water before they enter your home so that water can continue flowing through smoothly and your pipes remain structurally sound.
There are also single-tap systems that can protect individual appliances. Although these systems cannot protect your pipes from the water coming in from the mains, they can produce clean water for your home and protect appliances, such as your dishwasher or laundry appliances, from the effects of hard water.
3. Extended Wet & Dry Spells
Excessive rain can lead to saturated soil around the house. In contrast, prolonged periods without rain can cause soil to contract and shift. This changing pressure affects underground plumbing and risks severe damage to sewer mains if there are issues that are not addressed immediately.
The best thing you can do to protect your plumbing from wet and dry spells or extreme weather is to insulate and cover the pipes and connections outside. Insulating these fixtures will protect them from rapidly changing temperatures and the expansion and contraction of materials that accompany them. In the long term, you can keep a careful eye on them and watch for cracking or leaking.
4. Invasive Tree Roots
Trees with deep roots near underground pipes naturally gravitate toward sewage lines, especially if there is already a small puncture. The nutrient-rich water attracts the roots, which wrap around the pipe until it bursts. This process creates unexpected and unwelcome damage to your pipes, often sending sewage back up through your toilet and drains.
Unfortunately, this condition is exaggerated in the spring and summertime because the trees are in their growth phase. To help with this problem, it is important to keep trees away from sewage lines. If you notice a tree getting too large near your underground lines, you may want to consider having it removed. Although it seems like a lot of trouble, it is nothing compared to the mess you will have if tree roots get ahold of your sewage lines.
Household debris, such as grease, laundry lint, pet dander, or human skin cells can accumulate in pipes. This accumulation restricts the flow of water, eventually causing pipes to burst. Undetected clogs can lead to costly repairs and disrupt daily life at best; at worst they cause unsanitary and dangerous living conditions.
One way to detect impending clogs is by monitoring the water pressure. A lack of water pressure is a good indicator of a blockage. You may also have sewer odors coming out of the toilet and various drains. If you are experiencing clogs in multiple locations, for example, the kitchen and the bathroom, more than likely there is an obstruction in your main sewer line and you should call for emergency services.
6. Equipment Wear and Tear
Throughout the lifespan of your pipes, they will need regular care and attention to continue operating at their full potential but activities such as foundational work or nearby construction may cause unpredictable plumbing problems.
Regarding preventative plumbing, it’s crucial that you work with a reliable plumber. The best technicians take the necessary precautions and devote a certain level of time and attention to your equipment so that you are confident your system is in good hands. When you work with a qualified and reliable plumbing company like Schuler Plumbing, you ensure the longevity of your system and avoid unnecessary repairs. Wear and tear is unavoidable, but extra damage caused by wear and tear is not.
7. Remedial Service Repairs
The most common and avoidable causes of burst pipes in the summertime are repairs from a sloppy plumber. Not all plumbing issues have DIY solutions and when it’s time to call in a plumber, you should be able to trust they will get the job done right the first time. That is why doing your research before an emergency arises is so important. An excellent plumbing service provider will know what to do in any situation and have the experience to give you the plumbing solutions you need.
Summer can be a tumultuous time for your pipes because of the changes in temperature and humidity, as well as an increase in construction projects. Ensure your plumbing is in good hands with a reputable and cautious plumbing company in Oklahoma City like Schuler.
Preventative Strategies to Avoid Burst Pipes
Easy Solutions to Avoidable Problems
At Schuler, we want to help you avoid costly situations and get in front of some of the most common causes of burst pipes.
Regular Maintenance and Upkeep
Proper maintenance is critical to ensuring the longevity of your home’s plumbing system. When you invest in suitable materials and monitor the system, the potential for problems is minimized.
As experts in plumbing maintenance, we handle most of the tasks that will ensure the smooth functioning of your plumbing system. Still, there are also a few simple things you can do to prevent burst pipes:
- Do not dispose of cooking oil and grease in your sink drain.
- Skip the chemical drain cleaner and call a plumber.
- Run hot water down the drain after washing dishes.
- Turn off the water when traveling.